22 Bishopsgate

A Soft Landings Case Study

Working Together

Identifying the Challenges

As vertical transportation experts, SVM Associates industry knowledge is often sought by construction or real estate professionals as projects prepare for the soft landings phase.

The whole concept of 22 Bishopsgate is about creating a working and leisure space with its users’ needs at the centre. The 22 Bishopsgate Management Team wanted to work with a partner who was willing to reinvent and reimagine the way installation contractors, the service team, the owners and the occupants interact as the construction phase project came to an end and occupancy began – just as they had reimagined the multi-use space. With SVM Associates consistent track record, cutting-edge analysis and real-world application, they found their perfect partner.

It is no secret that too often, owners and the building management
teams find themselves spending time, money and energy resolving issues that, with a proactive, collaborative approach are preventable or at least, minimised.

Working Together

Identifying the Challenges

As vertical transportation experts, SVM Associates industry knowledge is often sought by construction or real estate professionals as projects prepare for the soft landings phase.

The whole concept of 22 Bishopsgate is about creating a working and leisure space with its users’ needs at the centre. The 22 Bishopsgate Management Team wanted to work with a partner who was willing to reinvent and reimagine the way installation contractors, the service team, the owners and the occupants interact as the construction phase project came to an end and occupancy began – just as they had reimagined the multi-use space. With SVM Associates consistent track record, cutting-edge analysis and real-world application, they found their perfect partner.

It is no secret that too often, owners and the building management
teams find themselves spending time, money and energy resolving issues that, with a proactive, collaborative approach are preventable or at least, minimised.

From previous experience, SVM Associates are well aware of the issues a project like 22 Bishopsgate can fall victim to when it comes to its vertical transportation system during the handover process. These can include:

• The damage/wear already incurred to the lifts and escalators during the construction phase
• Many and varied snags due to the sheer volume and complexity of the equipment required
• Narrowly focussed recording and inspections that do not tell the whole story
• Difficulty accessing the lifts to resolve issues as the building
enters the ‘fit out phase’
• Base Build design and commissioning that may not always suit the occupiers post completion.

The first 12 months of a new building are crucial for the long term health, reliability and efficiency of the vertical transportation systems and requires a united, strong delivery team. As the lifeblood of a high rise structure, early intervention with vertical transport systems is imperative.

Using advanced, innovative techniques, SVM Associates take analysis and observation to a new level. This proven approach is crucial in the transition stage and soft landings phase.

By conducting a thorough, unique auditing process at the crucial handover stage, SVM Associates identified issues that are not routinely picked up by standard assessments. The resulting comprehensive, detailed condition record allowed SVM Associates and the 22 Bishopsgate Team to predict and eliminate future reliability issues and reduce otherwise additional costs and disruption.

Multi purpose environments like 22 Bishopsgate, require a multi faceted, complex assessment. The demands and usage profiles of high rise passenger lifts, goods lifts, feature lifts and vehicle lifts means the assumptions regarding engineering condition cannot be considered the same.

SVM Associates are the first in the lift industry to be able to
innovatively utilise Condition Measuring techniques to fully understand the equipment and use the information to inform and refine maintenance/service plans. This advanced analysis also means that, in collaboration with Otis, we have offered increased protection against entrapments as we can predict equipment problems ahead of failure.

Fix Before Failure

Cutting Edge Technology

22 Bishopsgate building with a vision soft landings

Real World Observation

One of the most costly elements of the transition handover process is a poor user experience. This can have a massive impact on the building’s reputation. A disparity between envisioned service and reality requires expert management.

22 Bishopsgate’s Management Team have programmed real time observations to assess:
• Passenger Behaviour
• Lift Group Performance
• Queues and Waiting Times

In conjunction with the Otis’ EMS monitoring systems operated in all
of the lifts at 22 Bishopsgate, this information has allowed adjustment and fine tuning of the lift systems to optimise their response, reflecting actual passenger use.

22 Bishopsgate soft Landings building with a vision

Wide Experience


With over 700 units across the UK and Ireland under a regular audit programme, SVM Associates see how real world lifts and escalators are used, mis-used and fail. These observations form a body of corporate knowledge that is often not published or widely known. 

This has been used to guide proactive efforts at 22 Bishopsgate to improve user’s service experience and head off problems. Our role in ‘steady stating’ the VT systems in 22 Bishopsgate is by no means the end of our involvement. We are engaged to provide quality auditing, performance monitoring and specialist technical support on an on-going basis.

2020 took us all to unprecedented territory, so responding to how the lifts needed to be modified to accommodate occupation during a pandemic was never envisaged as a service requirement.

After initially receiving suggestions and proposals relating to the virus’s transmission and resilience from many quarters, the 22 Bishopsgate Team turned to SVM Associates.

Traffic modelling served to define lift system capacity and so informed limits of population and arrival rates. By using computer fluid dynamics (CFD) SVM Associates were able to identify airflows in the lift car to evaluate the effect of aerosol virus transmission. SVM Associates’s pioneering research and analysis actually led to the debunking of several assumptions and initial recommendations and led to development of an effective and comparatively inexpensive technique to lessen air residency (stale air around the face that is implicit in viral transmission).

Pandemic Planning

Maintenance Team
Training and
 Familiarisation

This stage was facilitated by SVM Associates’s professionals drawn from backgrounds in automotive, education, aerospace and, of course, lift engineering industries.
The broad spectrum of experience was employed to engage with the Otis site engineering team, collectively and individually, to widen horizons and identify and overcome barriers to world class service.

Early occupation sees the lack of building familiarity coincide with the height of teething problems. Even trivial queries like, ‘Why do the lifts do that?’ or ‘How do I get to the motor room?’ can tarnish the building management’s reputation if the answer isn’t known.

Fortunately, the 22 Bishopgate Team recognised the clear benefits of embedding the delivery team, including SVM Associates and Otis, on-site well ahead of building completion as part of their soft landing strategy. This has instilled a knowledge of the building and its systems through presence alone. Still, this is not enough to provide occupants with the competent and assured service they expect from a
world-class building.

Our Engagement Aims:

To significantly improve work ethic and output by encouraging engineers to recognise the importance of:
• Continuous Improvement
• Accurate Reporting
• Self Evaluation
• Technical Training,
• Timely Escalation
• Adaptive Maintenance

Bridging the Gap

By adapting and embracing this approach from an early stage, and through to soft landings, Building Owners and Managers can:

• Move more swiftly into a ‘steady state’
• Respond quickly to emerging situations (COVID-19 being an
extreme example)
• Inherit a hassle-free site following handover
• Negotiate, identify and put in place appropriate maintenance
arrangements
• Eliminate as many ‘teething problems’ as possible
• Optimise passenger traffic flow and lift efficiency
• Identify issues that could cause future problems
• Minimise downtime and passenger dissatisfaction
• Avoid costly and stressful legal disputes

Create Smooth Soft Landings

The benefits of creating early, strong relationships with building management and maintenance experts is clear. 

If you are approaching the handover stage of your project, don’t miss out on the crucial time window to audit, assess and forward plan to ensure your soft landings run as smoothly as possible and you can achieve ‘steady state’ quickly.

Contact us for more information.